Fashion: Smooth sailing

By Dan Ahwa

Regatta meets Riviera this season as technical sportswear gives an added dose of cool to traditional nautical-inspired separates.

Lacoste cable knit jumper, $269. Ben Sherman jacket, $240. Bing Harris & Co desert boots, $90. Photo / Greg Bowker
Lacoste cable knit jumper, $269. Ben Sherman jacket, $240. Bing Harris & Co desert boots, $90. Photo / Greg Bowker

Fresh, salty air and the wide open sea are the perfect starting points when thinking about a nautical-inspired wardrobe and, despite being a perennial favourite, there's something about maritime-inspired clothing that never gets tired.

Although modern menswear can often be constrained by backward glances (workman uniforms, hunting tweeds, army fatigues, for example), naval references have sailed to new shores this season with updated colour ways and sportswear fabrics bringing a modern sensibility.

Seafaring stripes can be traced back to French naval uniforms, where the print served to help locate sailors overboard, and over they years it has become a timeless classic. The mustard and off-white striped T-shirt from Sly Guild (#4) is the perfect example of stripes being re-worked in less traditional colour combination.

Technical sportswear is also a key highlight for menswear this season, with a focus on lightweight outerwear, from windbreakers to casual raincoat jackets.

Danish brand Rains is exciting, with a sophisticated line of raincoats and waterproof accessories. The classic rain jacket (#2) is an updated take on a traditional shape in an energetic yellow, working well the colour palette of red, navy and white.

Trans-seasonal cable knit jumpers are another key look, available this season in various colourways from classic sportswear brands such as Lacoste and Polo Ralph Lauren. The multi-striped cable knit option from Lacoste (#5), for example, lends itself well to cooler temperatures, the kind of retro-preppy wardrobe staple favoured by the Kennedys on vacation in Cape Cod or the Cote d'Azur.

1. Ben Sherman T-shirt, $80. Lacoste jacket, $239 (pre-order, available March) Witchery Man shorts, $89.90. Emporio Armani sunglasses, $355, from Sunglass Hut. Converse boat shoes, $170, from Barkers. Rains weekend bag, $130, from The Market (available from February).

2. Rains jacket, $150, from The Market (available from February) Ben Sherman cable knit jumper, $155. Working Style shorts, $199. Rivieras shoes, $100, from The Men's Department at The Department Store.

3. Jac + Jack linen shirt, $325, Topman shorts, $80, and Rivieras shoes, $100, all from The Men's Department at The Department Store. Emporio Armani sunglasses, $355, from Sunglass Hut.

4. Sly Guild T-shirt, $80. Gubb and Mackie jacket, $1095. Ben Sherman trousers, $155. New Balance trainers, $150.

5. Jac + Jack linen shirt, $325, and Topman shorts, $55, from The Men's Department at The Department Store. Lacoste cable knit jumper, $269. Ben Sherman jacket, $240. Bing Harris & Co desert boots, $90.

- NZ Herald

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